Forgiven Much Loves Much

Michelle Christy

Read: Luke 7:36-50

Her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. (v. 47)

She bursts eagerly through the sanctuary doors straight up to the front. With disheveled dress, the woman falls to her knees. She worships with her head up, arms high and wide. For those of us coiffed and composed in the pews, the reckless worshiper pushes the boundaries. Her loving worship exposes our heart’s judgment and spirit’s lack. Quickly our conviction turns into her condemnation. When Jesus sees his beloved’s condemnation, he offers her grace-filled validation.

In Luke 7, a known prostitute boldly interrupts a dinner of Israel’s elite. Tension radiates heavily. In what appears wasteful, lavish love from an alabaster flask flows forth in recognition of Jesus’ grace. With all the shame and self-atonement one woman could pay, she pours it all out on Jesus’ dusty feet in worship for every guest to see. Sweetness wafts through the room. The fragrance of forgiveness cuts through the heart of condemnation and self-satisfaction. Jesus stamps her with approval like the dawning of a brand-new day. The voices of disapproval grow silent. “Your sins are forgiven” (v. 48).

It’s easy for us to judge what we don’t understand. Have we experienced Jesus’ forgiveness fully that we might worship him freely? Grace and love readily flow from the one forgiven much. We can be grateful Jesus takes our wanton ways and receives them in worship. —Michelle Christy

Prayer: Jesus, “Oh to grace how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be.” (Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)